- The Lobby
- Extra Times
Lee Kuan Yew urges Muslims to ‘be less strict’
Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew has urged local Muslims to “be less strict on Islamic observances” to aid integration and the city-state’s nation-building process.
Singapore has a predominantly Chinese population, with minority races including Muslim Malays and Indians, and Lee has always stressed the importance of racial harmony.
“I would say today, we can integrate all religions and races except Islam,” he said in “Lee Kuan Yew: Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going,” a new book containing his typically frank views on the city-state and its future.
“I think we were progressing very nicely until the surge of Islam came and if you asked me for my observations, the other communities have easier integration – friends, intermarriages and so on...” he stated.
“I think the Muslims socially do not cause any trouble, but they are distinct and separate,” Lee added, calling on the community to “be less strict on Islamic observances.”
During the book’s launch on Friday, the self-described “pragmatist” warned Singaporeans against complacency, saying the largely ethnic Chinese republic was still a nation in the making.
Describing Singapore in the book as an “80-storey building on marshy land,” Lee said it must contend with hostility from larger Muslim neighbours.
“We’ve got friendly neighbours? Grow up... There is this drive to put us down because we are interlopers,” he said, citing alleged Malaysian and Indonesian efforts to undermine Singapore’s crucial port business.
Singapore was ejected from the Malaysian federation in 1965 in large part due to Kuala Lumpur’s preferential policies for ethnic Malays, and has since built up Southeast Asia’s most modern military to deter foreign aggression.
Responsible Right of Expression — In the interest of freedom of expression, coupled with a true sense of responsibility to encourage community dialogue, the Macau Daily Times offers its readers the opportunity to express their opinions on news-related matters through this website. All opinions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are deemed to be obscene, or are merely insults written under the cloak of anonymity. MDT
- Ninth ICIF: “Toy Block Pavilion” features Macau’s colorful cultural traditions
- SJM’s Cotai project to merge with Angela Leong’s theme park
- Signature campaign aims to preserve Coloane green belts
- Conference-dinner in Grand Lapa Hotel Europe “living a Sicilian situation” - austerity a “false solution”
- Construction waste found in drain at Taipa LRT site
- Harsher penalties suggested on drug dealing solicitation
- Local companies sign cooperation protocols in Chongqing
- The “Invisible Gateway” to Pedro Besugo’s artistic world
- A cultural exhibition without road closure, Xi-style continues
- Central medical record database to be built in two years
- World Vision Macau holds famine activity
- Old grenade found near ‘San Malou’
- ‘Macau Scam’ suspects sent to immigration detention center
- Four Macau entries in Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants in Asia
- IFT students raise MOP 55,000 for charity